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The GW Hatchet

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Police arrest two armed suspects near campus boundaries

Metropolitan Police officers arrested two individuals near campus Monday night, shortly after a shooting in Georgetown and a fight near the Foggy Bottom Metro brought a slew of cop cars and onlookers to the area.

Multiple gunshots echoed near 28th and M streets starting at 10:49 p.m., according to police documents. The shooting and the near-campus arrests have not yet been connected.

Following the gunshots in Georgetown, a 17-year-old victim from Southeast D.C. was found lying on a sidewalk across the street from the Four Seasons Hotel, according to the police documents. Medics transported the victim, unconscious and unresponsive after incurring a gunshot wound to his head, to GW Hospital.

Police documents classify the incident as an assault with intent to kill.

Shortly before 11 p.m., a large group of juveniles arrived at the Foggy Bottom Metro station, likely coming back from Georgetown, Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said.

Metro Transit police were called in to disperse the crowd. The situation calmed down, and police briefly left the scene but continued monitoring the situation.

When several brawls broke out at about 11 p.m., Metro Transit police put out a call for a fight in progress, Stessel said. He said 20 officers responded, including MPD and University Police officers.

UPD Chief Kevin Hay said the department was notified of a disturbance along the I Street Mall, near the Foggy Bottom Metro between 23rd and 24th streets, shortly before 11 p.m.

Media Credit: Michelle Rattinger
Metropolitan Police Department officers and University Police officers gather at the Foggy Bottom Metro because of an altercation in the station.

Officers helped passengers and the juveniles board trains “in smaller groups where they could be better managed,” and transit police controlled access to the station from above ground to prevent more people from “joining the fray,” Stessel said.

An armed officer walked toward the escalator entrance as crowd members backed away.

Students inside the station reported smelling pepper spray underground, but Stessel said Metro Transit Police did not deploy the spray and was “working under the assumption that one of the juveniles deployed the pepper spray.”

He said there were no arrests at the Foggy Bottom Metro.

University Police officers stationed at Hughes Mews Alley – next to the 7-Eleven on the 900 block of New Hampshire Avenue – eventually helped track down a weapon following the arrest of a suspect being sought by MPD. Police closed off the alleyway that evening, blocking residents from returning to the townhouses that line the street.

Shortly at 11 p.m., UPD initiated a lookout for a second suspect, headed toward K Street, whom MPD officers were searching for and later stopped and arrested, Hay said.

Officers searched a red pick-up truck parked outside the convenience store and alley by City Hall, while the streets leading into Georgetown were closed off.

A witness near the Foggy Bottom Metro said he saw a man come up behind GW Hospital in the aftermath of the fight near the station. When a truck approached a car that was picking the man up, the person ran toward an alley, the witness said.

Secret Service agents aided MPD in investigating the red truck. Though agents on scene declined to comment, former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were seen exiting the rear entrance of the hospital shortly before 1 a.m.

The Clinton Foundation released a statement Tuesday that Dorothy Rodham, Hillary Clinton’s mother, passed away at the hospital just after midnight.

The University sent alert messages about the two arrests via Twitter and Facebook more than an hour after the initial shots were fired in Georgetown. A Safety and Security Alert hit e-mail inboxes shortly after 1:30 a.m.

University spokeswoman Candace Smith said the University was delayed in getting a report out to the community “due to emergency maintenance of the mass e-mail notification system.”

“[Information Technology] personnel are actively working to resolve the issue and distribute the alert,” Smith said at the time. “We also have other means to notify the community such as the news media and social media. We utilized those tonight.”

Daniel Carter, director of public policy for national nonprofit Security on Campus, said the technical problem that occurred in sending out the campus alert shows the importance of maintaining a range of communication tools.

“That’s one of the reasons we recommend multiple channels and it sounds like they have some. But it’s important to have more than one channel for emergency notification,” Carter said.

The Georgetown incident was one of six Halloween-night shootings across the District. Mayor Vincent Gray said at a press conference Tuesday morning that the shootings were of “great concern” and “especially disturbing” because they involved teenagers.

Lauren French, Andrea Vittorio, Priya Anand, Chelsea Radler, Sarah Ferris, Cory Weinberg, Michelle Rattinger and Francis Rivera contributed to this report.

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